International Association of Department Stores

The International Association of Department Stores (IADS) is a retail trade association founded in 1928 by a group of department stores with the goal of introducing modern management methods derived from the scientific management movement to their retail format.

International Association of Department Stores
Formation1928; 93 years ago (1928)
FounderEmile Bernheim, Pierre Laguionie, Ragnar Sachs, Frank Chitham, Sven Bögelund-Jensen
TypeRetail trade association
HeadquartersParis, France
Selvane Mohandas du Ménil


In the middle of the 1920s, American management theories, such as the scientific management of F.W. Taylor, started spreading in Europe. The International Management Institute (I.M.I.) was established in Geneva in 1927 to facilitate the diffusion of such ideas.[1]

Edward Filene, a member of the I.M.I. Board of Directors and Chairman of Filene's department store in Boston, decided—with Emile Bernheim of Innovation in Brussels (later known as Galeria Inno), Pierre Laguionie of the Printemps in Paris and Ragnar Sachs of Nordiska Kompaniet in Stockholm—to apply I.M.I.'s teachings about scientific management to the department store retail format. They created the Association of Department Stores in Paris in 1928[2][3] under the supervision of the first General Secretary Werner Kaufmann,[4] and were joined the same year by Harrods of London and Magasin du Nord of Copenhagen.

According to James B. Jefferys,[5] the interest of the IADS was first its limited scope, with memberships restricted to one per country to promote cooperation, and second its scientific approach, through methods laid out by one of the early General Secretaries of the IADS, Dr Hrant Pasdermadjian (1936-1954)[6][7] (although his approach was severely judged in America).[8] During his tenure, Pasdermadjian published scientific manuals on the different department store functions. as well as his book on department stores.[9][10] His successor for 30 years, Dr James B. Jefferys, continued the task of bringing management research to department stores and continued publishing works on retailing.[11]

After Kaufmann, Hermann Maria Spitzer,[12] Pasdermadjian and Jefferys, Erik Kalderen, of Sweden's Nordiska Kompaniet department store, became its first secretary, serving in that role for five years. He was followed by Maarten de Groot van Embden for 25 years,[13][14] Armelle Mesguich for five years, and most recently Selvane Mohandas du Menil,[15] who took office part way through the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic,[16][17] during which most stores were under lockdown.[18] There have been eight general managers in the 85 years between 1936 and 2021.

As of 2021, IADS is the fifth oldest retail association in the world, after the Australian Retail Association (founded 1903), the National Retail Federation (founded 1911), the Austrian Retail Association (founded 1921) and the German Retail Federation.[19]

Operation and membershipEdit

IADS shares retail management experience and best practices,[20] through meetings for CEOs,[21][22] main functions at senior level in the member companies,[23] dissemination of information and reports[24][25] about department stores, and statistical and other surveys[26] and consultancy on specific issues as requested by member companies,[27] such as the increasing competition coming from online retail channels.[28][29]

The membership has varied from 4 to 25 companies, with an increasingly greater internationalisation: since the 1990s it has included members from Asia and the Americas such as Beijing Hualian Group, The Mall Group, and Falabella. As of 2021, it comprises 12 department store companies within its purview, with operations in 19 countries. The membership reflects the variety of the department store format,[30] and includes in alphabetical order: Beijing Hualiang Group (China), Breuninger (Germany), Centrobeco (Venezuela), El Corte Inglès (Spain), El Palacio de Hierro (Mexico), Falabella (Chile), Galeries Lafayette (France), Lifestyle International (Hong Kong), Magasin du Nord (Denmark), Manor (Switzerland), The Mall Group (Thailand), SM Store (Philippines).


  1. ^ Bloemen, Erik; Spender, J.C.; Kijne, H.J. (1996). "The Movement for Scientific Management in Europe between the Wars". ScientificManagement. Boston, MA: Springer. pp. 111–112. ISBN 978-1-4612-8617-2.
  2. ^ "Résultats de recherche | Associations |". Retrieved 2021-05-18.
  3. ^ UK, FashionNetwork com. "Nicolas Houzé (Galeries Lafayette) named Chairman of the International Association of Department Stores". Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  4. ^ Kaufman, Werner (1934). L'organisation scientifique dans les grands magasins. Paris: Comité National de l'Organisation Française. pp. 16–22.
  5. ^ Jefferys, James B. (1950). "Review of Management Research in Retailing". The Economic Journal. 60 (240): 799–801. doi:10.2307/2226724. ISSN 0013-0133. JSTOR 2226724.
  6. ^ Pasdermadjian, Hrand (1950). Management Research in Retailing. London: Newman Books.
  7. ^ Pasdermadjian, Hrand (1932). L'organisation scientifique du travail. Grenoble: Université de Grenoble. Faculté de droit et des sciences économiques.
  8. ^ Hutchinson, Kenneth D. (1951-01-01). "Book review of Management Research in Retailing, the International Association of Department Stores". Journal of Marketing. 15 (3): 390. doi:10.1177/002224295101500336. S2CID 169199665.
  9. ^ Pasdermadjian, Hrand (1949). Le Grand magasin, son origine, son évolution, son avenir. Paris: Dunod.
  10. ^ Pasdermadjian, Hrand (1954). The Department Store, its origins, evolution and economics. London: Newman Books.
  11. ^ Jefferys, James B. (1954). Retail Trade in Britain 1850-1950. London: University Press.
  12. ^ Sven Bogelund-Jensen, "The International Association of Department Stores: a society for management research", conference at the 10th congress of the International Chamber of Commerce, Copenhagen, 1939 - see World Trade, Volume 11, University of Minnesota, 1939
  13. ^ Thomasson, Emma (2014-10-15). "ANALYSIS - Department stores fight back from online challenge". Reuters (in French). Retrieved 2020-12-01.[dead link]
  14. ^ Van Heuven, Erik; Van Rompaey, Stefan (2020). The future of department stores. Leuven, Belgium: Lannoo Campus. p. 19. ISBN 9789401466608.
  15. ^ Caussil, Jean-Noël (2020-07-01). "Un nouveau directeur général pour l'Association internationale des grands magasins". LSA.
  16. ^ Bellemare, Carole (2020-11-13). "Selvane Mohandas du Ménil fédère les grands magasins du monde". Le Figaro.
  17. ^ ""No retail apocalypse for department stores"". RetailDetail. 2021-03-05. Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  18. ^ Bacqué, Sophie. (2021-01-15). "Digital to the rescue of department stores". Global Retail News. Retrieved 2021-03-04.
  19. ^ "FIRA Member Directory". National Retail Federation. Retrieved 2021-03-24.
  20. ^ Jindal, Ian (2016-09-15). "Opening presentation for the International Association of Department Stores (". Ian Jindal. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  22. ^ "SM hosts world's top retailers in Manila". The Philippine Star. 2012-12-05.
  23. ^ Jitpleecheep, Pitsinee (2015-10-23). "International retailers eye e-commerce". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  24. ^ Tamilia, Robert D. (2011). The wonderful world of the department store in historical perspective: a comprehensive international bibliography. Montreal: University of Quebec at Montreal. p. 128.
  25. ^ FR, FashionNetwork com. "Dans les grands magasins, le sportswear envisagé comme un segment d'avenir". (in French). Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  26. ^ Knee, Derek: "History, Methods and Lessons of the Association", conference to OECE, document n°588, November 1954
  27. ^ Knee, Christopher (2002-01-01). "Learning from experience: five challenges for retailers". International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management. 30 (11): 518–529. doi:10.1108/09590550210449377. ISSN 0959-0552.
  28. ^ Reuters (2014-10-17). "Les grands magasins contre-attaquent face à la distribution en ligne". Fashion Network.
  29. ^ "Selvane Mohandas du Ménil : "Avec la crise, les grands magasins ont basculé sur le numérique"". Europe 1 (in French). Retrieved 2021-06-07.
  30. ^ "Home". Retrieved 2020-12-01.

External linksEdit